WASHINGTON, D.C. ( TheStreet) -- President Barack Obama signed a historic financial reform bill into law Wednesday morning.
In what is widely considered the most sweeping regulatory overhaul since the Great Depression, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 aims to create stricter rules for the way business is conducted by a roster of Wall Street players. The Senate approved the legislation on Friday weeks after the House passage. The law includes the establishment of a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, whose mission will be to oversee consumer financial products offered by banks, mortgage companies, credit cards, debt-settlement firms, loan providers and payday lenders. It will have the authority to craft regulations, launch investigations and act on consumer complaints. Bank of America ( BAC) said last week that the legislation could cost it billions in lost revenue each year, a pronouncement interpreted as an indicator that other banks with significant exposure to the U.S. consumer market, banks such as JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) and Citigroup ( C), will also face larger-than-expected costs as a result. >>FinReg: Best and Worst Parts Obama emphasized the benefits of new consumer protection laws as the "strongest consumer financial protections in history." "These protections will be enforced by a new consumer watchdog with just one job: looking out for people -- not big banks, not lenders, not investment houses -- in the financial system. Now, that's not just good for consumers, that's good for the economy," he said. >>How Financial Reform Could Affect You Richard Trumka, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, said "today's signing of comprehensive financial reform into law is a major victory and joins a growing list of progress, dismantling the harmful legacy left by George W. Bush and the Republican Party." -- Reported by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York Follow Miriam Marcus Reimer on Twitter and become a fan of TheStreet.com on Facebook.